Something to Look Forward to this Summer in PDX

This is a blog post I have looked forward to writing!  It’s all about simple pleasures these days.  Sauvie Island, for most Portlanders, evokes a special feeling.  It’s a short 10 miles from downtown, but crossing the Sauvie Island bridge and seeing sprawling farmland crowned by the four cascade mountain view (yes, on clear days you can see the top of Mt. Rainier too)–makes you exhale immediately.  For some it’s biking, beach combing, fishing, kayaking or hiking, but the collective draw is the farms.  Picking berries, stone fruit and flowers, hayrides, summer concerts, sipping wine and beer while dining on food cart delicacies and leaving with food grown by hardworking local farmers.  Summer isn’t complete in Portland without a day on Sauvie Island.

This year I had the ultimate pleasure of helping very dear friends of mine realize their dream of owning a farm on Sauvie Island. It was a complicated and emotional transaction for all, but the end result was relieved and happy clients!  Kruger’s Farm is now owned by an amazing local Sauvie Island family and has been renamed Topaz Farm.  Kat and Jim are two of the smartest, hardworking people I know and their vision for the farm is going to blow your mind.  Think farm-to-plate brunches and dinners, sipping wine, beer, local coffee or strawberry rhubarb lemonade while shopping in the farm store that features their own produce, as well as other Sauvie Island and local products.  They have in-house chefs that create pasta, kale chips, pastries, pies, sandwiches, otter pops, etc., for the farm store using their produce.  They use organic farming practices and plan to be an educational farm.  They’ve partnered with the Sauvie Island Center to create camp and field trip opportunities for our schools.  They are creating a bee wheel garden (the first of its kind on the west coast) and have all kinds of plans for future enrichment programs.  They’ve accomplished all this just since they purchased the farm in January.  Can you imagine what the future holds?!!

Of course COVID-19 has changed a few things, but visiting a farm and getting outside isn’t one of them.  Don’t we all need a change of scenery!  There are some things that are on hold right now and Topaz Farm is following a very strict COVID-19 policy to keep their customers and employees safe.  Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to stay up-to-date on berry picking calendars, farm-to-plate dinners and possibly a creative summer concert series.

When you visit Topaz Farm you will likely meet the whole family.  Their daughters Maggie and Odessa work right alongside of their parents.  Kat’s brother, Peter is working tirelessly to build all sorts of new farm features (clever mobile farm store displays, new pens for the animals, etc).  I know they will be pleased to make your acquaintance (tell ‘em we sent ya!)

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the farm on opening day, May 27th.  Enjoy some of the photos from our visit.



COVID-19 Update from Inhabit’s Owner

March 31, 2020

The coronavirus is impacting everyone and every business in some way and the real estate industry is no exception.  In many ways we are lucky because our shift to doing things virtually isn’t as big a leap as some businesses are facing.  As a matter of fact, for many years we’ve been able to handle most of the home buying and selling transactions electronically.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Inhabit is committed to keeping the health and safety of our clients and agents at the forefront of everything we do.  Even before Governor Brown initiated Oregon’s shelter-in-place order, Inhabit launched our Couch Concierge service that brings the entire home buying and selling process to our clients.  Everything from virtual open houses, live video showings with our agents, to virtual contracts and closings.

Our listing clients shouldn’t worry about canceled open houses.  We will create a digital marketing campaign that brings your house to potential buyers all without risking anyone’s health or safety.  Our agents will tailor a showing plan that you feel the most comfortable with.

For our buyers, we are hosting live video tours.  Our agents will walk you through the property showing you every nook and cranny with honest feedback on quality or construction issues they see.  

In-person tours are still an option in many cases when necessary, but with precautions we take very seriously.  We recommend live video tours for anyone that has cold or flu symptoms or concerned about a possible COVID-19 exposure.  This goes for clients, as well as, agents.  Our agents are following the recommended 6 ft of social distancing and strict hand-washing and disinfecting policies.  Our agents provide our COVID-19 Safe Showing policies to clients for review prior to visiting any property in-person so you can make the best decision for your health and safety.

We are a small business that puts the care of our clients and agents first.  I started this company six years ago because I knew there was a better, more innovative way to serve clients.  This is an industry that one-size definitely does not fit all.  Inhabit has always been forward-looking and our size allows us to be nimble in creating services that address changing needs and goals.  We are here to give you the best real estate advice possible, now and into the future.

Yours in health and prosperity!


The Richmond Commons – A successful project from concept to sold out

Eric recently worked with one of his developer clients from beginning to end on the Richmond Commons Condominium project. The project was a huge success for his client, the new owners and for Inhabit. The 12 homes sold quickly and are all now closed. A happy community has formed on an abandoned, under-utilized corner of SE Portland.

In a quick Q & A session, Eric explains the Richmond Commons development from land acquisition, pre-construction, marketing, all the way through to being SOLD OUT.

How did Richmond Commons come about? Where did this project begin and what was your involvement?

One of the services I provide to my developers and builders is land acquisition. I constantly keep an eye out for sites that my developer community can acquire and develop with the least amount of risk and exposure and the greatest outcome. This property hit the market and had the size, zoning, and location for very favorable development potential. The price and potential of the land that would become Richmond Commons was a “no brainer”. We secured the property under contract and began due diligence for the site’s “highest and best” use.

How did you help your developer client decide what to build on the site? What information do you provide?

I help my developers and builders understand the market’s appetite for various types of real estate (houses, townhouses, condos, mixed-use, apartments, etc)…in other words… what will create the greatest buyer demand on the back end. We narrowed this site down to build attached townhomes or condominiums. From there, I created pricing strategies (what can we sell the unit for), absorption studies (how quickly the units will sell), lending solutions (for the take out financing) market demand (what features does the market want) and a marketing game plan to introduce the development to the market and create buzz, momentum and sales.

What are the challenges associated with this type of real estate sales? 

With larger “project work” there are tons of challenges ranging from risk management, construction scheduling, market shifts & conditions, lending environment, appraisal management, timing, etc.

Managing buyer expectations and closing coordination is also tricky. One of the biggest challenges and one of our strongest skill sets is creating and maintaining a base line value for all of the homes and staying true to it (not dropping price just to sell out). We counsel the buyers on why paying full price is actually better than getting a discount upon purchase. In a multi-unit development, all of the values are tied to each other…maintaining the base level value puts the development in a much stronger position for future resales down the road.

Was there a key ingredient that supported Richmond Commons and its successful launch into the market?

There wasn’t one particular component that did it, but rather a combination of correct pricing, a solid location, a well-built energy efficient and beautiful home, favorable market conditions and a well executed marketing plan. All of these things came together nicely to create a great outcome for my developer client.

What’s next now that Richmond Commons is sold out?

Well….I don’t only do this type of real estate. I work with buyers and sellers every day to buy or sell all types of real estate.

As far as new projects, though….

We have a couple other very interesting projects coming down the line. One of them is in a super hot Hawthorne location with 12 modern, attached homes priced in the low-$400s. The other project is in Mt. Tabor and offers 3 ultra modern detached homes each with an ADU and situated on beautiful lots…priced in the mid-to-upper $700s. I’m happy to chat with buyers that may be interested in either of these projects.

Helicopter View of Richmond Commons

Here are a couple of cool shots taken from an aka unmanned aerial vehicle, aka miniture helicopter, aka drone.

For more information on these townhome style condominiums coming to the market soon, contact Eric Hagstette. | 503-313-6476